The accordionist Nikola Komatina is a fascinating and fascinatingly versatile artist, a musician through and through. Whenever he plays, he loses himself in the music, while at the same time remaining in total control. His playing reveals a rare degree of technical mastery, and his execution is well thought through. In spite of this, he is still able to surprise his listeners through the inspiration of the moment, an aspect of his playing that never seems forced but is always natural and authentic: the work comes into being anew at the moment of its performance. He revels in the subtleties of a work and in the beauty of its sonorities, revealing not only excellent taste but also a delight in rhythm and in the musical line. Just as he savours every harmony, so he ensures that every individual voice is audible. Nikola Komatina inhabits a number of different musical worlds, living in each one of them to the full. There is no contradiction here, but a feeling of freedom and the expression of an artistic personality that impresses us onstage by dint of his abilities and presence.
Dr. Susanne Schulte, acclaiming Nikola Komatina when awarding him the Music Prize of the GWK on 29 September 2013
The accordion player Nikola Komatina impressed his audience with his technical brilliance and authority as well as with his profound musical understanding and outstanding artistic personality.
10 April 2013
But the secret star of the evening was Nikola Komatina. What the twenty-six-year-old Serb was able to coax from his accordion (a chromatic button accordion with buttons instead of a keyboard down its right-hand side) in terms of notes and feelings of sadness and melancholy extending to the exuberance of a waltz, to say nothing of the dynamics and harmonies, was simply overwhelming. In the case of two traditional Roma songs from the Balkans, Komatina also proved to be a compelling singer.
13 January 2015
A passionate plea for listening with the heart – Accordionist heads the leader board in the Music & Communication Competition. Nikola Komatina is the name of the winner of the Music & Communication Competition. He played a magnificent work by Sofia Gubaidulina on the bayan, introducing it to his listeners in a very personal way. Nikola Komatina not only brought real virtuosity to De profundis, he also encouraged his audience to listen particularly closely. Professor Norbert Stertz praised the accordionist’s extremely authentic rendition, adding that the jury had awarded him the competition’s first prize “with very, very great joy”. “He was outstandingly successful in drawing his audience into his emotional world,” said Stertz. And this clearly paid off since the appreciation of the listeners in the Konzerthaus left its mark on the jury’s deliberations: the members of the audience were invited to choose their personal favourite from among the competition’s three finalists.
15 February 2014
He plays with every fibre of his body. He is temperamentally a winner, an artist – as the proverb says, art (Kunst) is famously derived from the verb können (to be able): Nikola Komatina is the new bursary holder of the Märkische Kulturkonferenz. […] The evening’s final chord ultimately belonged to Nikola Komatina, in his way an entertainer who showed not the slightest trace of nervousness. Instead, he came onstage with a winning smile, sat down, wiped his hand and instrument and played Olsen’s Without a Title. Even after only a few notes, it already seemed as if the student from Detmold would be telling us tales on his accordion. […] As a Serb, he is keen to disseminate folk music and he added spice to his performance with his own arrangement of a traditional Roma song, which he sang with genuine emotion and seemingly lost to the world.
30 September 2015
The Second Sonata, Black Birds, by the Finnish composer Kalevi Aho, is a hugely demanding piece littered with technical difficulties. Indeed, it was for a long time regarded as unplayable by accordionists, so great are its demands. But Nikola Komatina was able to give an outstanding demonstration of the interplay between the subtlest miniatures and rhythmic sonorities. The structure of the work was eminently clear to listeners prepared to bring real concentration to the task. If modern music can be performed with this degree of authority as it was by Nikola Komatina, then such unfamiliar works can have an inspirational impact.
2 November 2015